The Harlan Ellison Hornbook by Harlan Ellison | Paperback | Barnes & Noble
The Harlan Ellison Hornbook

The Harlan Ellison Hornbook

by Harlan Ellison

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A major collection of Harlan Ellison’s incomparable, troublemaking, uncompromising, confrontational essays and newspaper columns, The Harlan Ellison Hornbook mines deep into the author’s colorful past. Failed love affairs, departed pets, a defense of comic books—in lesser hands, these subjects would be pabulum or treacle. When Harlan


A major collection of Harlan Ellison’s incomparable, troublemaking, uncompromising, confrontational essays and newspaper columns, The Harlan Ellison Hornbook mines deep into the author’s colorful past. Failed love affairs, departed pets, a defense of comic books—in lesser hands, these subjects would be pabulum or treacle. When Harlan Ellison is behind the typewriter, the mundane becomes an all‑out intellectual brawl. Emotionally moving and verbally stimulating, these columns cannot be missed, especially Ellison’s article on controversial comedian Lenny Bruce or the chilling account of the author’s trip to visit a death row inmate in San Quentin State Prison.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
In his 45th book, Ellison, best known for science fiction and mystery, offers a collection of columns, most of which appeared in 1972 and 1973 in Los Angeles counterculture newspapers, principally the Free Press ; there are also a few essays from subsequent years. The earlier pieces often are mediocre: Ellison, viewing himself as a ``tough bastard,'' writes from an irritating macho pose, reaching for similes like ``I went down like a bantamweight in an auto chassis crusher.'' With an autodidact's arrogance, he presumes himself a pioneer in discovering that Christmas can be an obnoxious holiday, TV programs are awful, most college students are ignorant, etc. Except for two selections on a 1973 visit to San Quentin, the writing is undistinguished. Some illustrations not seen by PW. (Nov.)

Product Details

Open Road Integrated Media LLC
Publication date:
Product dimensions:
5.50(w) x 8.50(h) x 0.90(d)

Read an Excerpt



There are seismic temblor authorities who contend it all began with the tsunami that resulted from the sub-sea earthquake in the Taiwan Trench that inundated Japan and took Tokyo out of the international financial community permanently.

Whatever sequence of major upheavals proceeded from that disaster--referred to by survivors, to this day, as The Divine Hiccup--within four months the interlocking temblors had latticed the Earth's crust, finally building up a pressure directly under the Tropic of Cancer at 23 degrees 30' N 38 degrees 7' 15' E--about one hundred kilometers due south of the port city of Yanbu' in Saudi Arabia at the bottom of the Red Sea, Al-Bahr al-Ahmar.

When the mantle exploded, the fissure slithered north-northeast beneath the mountains of the Harrat al-'Uwayrid where some unknown impediment forced the massive energy toward the surface, shattering the mountains, severing a gigantic chunk of the Madyan, leaping the Straits of Tiran and Jubal, taking out the southern tip of the Sinai Peninsula, and racing across the Arabian Desert.

When the juggernaut reached the 27th Parallel approaching the 32nd Meridian, it just said t'hell with it, and blew out nine hundred kilometers of Egypt, reducing everything between Cairo and the Aswan Dam to a fine powdered ash that made for spectacular sunsets for decades to come.

And there, in the caldera that had been the Valley of the Kings, all supposition surrounding the myths of Atlantis came to an end as the lost continent thrust up its highest mountain. For thrice thirty thousand years The Spire ofthe Sun had lain hidden beneath the desert. A mountaintop sheathed in solid gold; at its apex, hewn from the basalt, the House of the Heavens; a temple whose underground levels fell dizzyingly for a mile inside the mountain; prayerhouse to deities so arcane and ancient that not even the sigh of their names had come to us through antiquity.

When the archaeological teams from Thule and Brasilia and Sydney landed their huge choppers in the sea-washed plazas of the House of the Heavens, and the scientists entered the three great triangular portals that swung open at the touch of a finger on center-pivots, they roamed far and deep, and they came, at last, to the central nidus of the Atlanteans. And it was there, on a golden tabulary, they found--perfectly preserved as if waiting for the light of the stars to fall upon its inscribed pages of thinnest beaten silver--the lost manuscript of The Harlan Ellison Hornbook.


You're not going for it?

Well, okay, so it isn't eons, it's only twenty years--give or take a cardiac arrest or two--since this book was put under contract. But it seems like eons, to hear Jack Chalker and Otto Penzler tell it. And tell of it they have, in Jack's case for two decades, which could, I suppose, be considered reason enough for kvetching; but in Otto's case it's only been about three years, even though I promised to deliver the manuscript in thirty days.

So, okay, I admit it. I'm running a little late this century. But I've been sick.

Meet the Author

Harlan Ellison has been called “one of the great living American short story writers” by the Washington Post. In a career spanning more than fifty years, he has won more awards than any other living fantasist. Ellison has written or edited one hundred fourteen books; more than seventeen hundred stories, essays, articles, and newspaper columns; two dozen teleplays; and a dozen motion pictures. He has won the Hugo Award eight and a half times (shared once); the Nebula Award three times; the Bram Stoker Award, presented by the Horror Writers Association, five times (including the Lifetime Achievement Award in 1996); the Edgar Award of the Mystery Writers of America twice; the Georges Melies Fantasy Film Award twice; and two Audie Awards (for the best in audio recordings); and he was awarded the Silver Pen for Journalism by PEN, the international writers’ union. He was presented with the first Living Legend Award by the International Horror Critics at the 1995 World Horror Convention. Ellison is the only author in Hollywood ever to win the Writers Guild of America award for Outstanding Teleplay (solo work) four times, most recently for “Paladin of the Lost Hour,” his Twilight Zone episode that was Danny Kaye’s final role, in 1987. In 2006, Ellison was awarded the prestigious title of Grand Master by the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America. Dreams With Sharp Teeth, the documentary chronicling his life and works, was released on DVD in May 2009.

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